Bar Tour Day 5 was actually 4 days long. I was asked to MC my old friend Holly’s wedding in Winthrop Massachusetts. If you aren’t into clicking links, Winthrop is a cute little town just across the harbour from Boston. If I’m referring to Boston Harbour,  should I call it Harbor, even if I’m in Canada?

Friday morning, myself and 4 friends (former employees of The Hideout, County General, School, plus a friend from New Tribe) got into a van and started the drive. My roomate and bandmate Matt drove all the way from Toronto to Albany, where we stopped for food and beer. 30 cans of PBR for $16.99 was one of their choices. I, on the other hand grabbed a mixer six pack from Saranac Brewing. The lager was the one that really stood out for me. I did the last 3 hours of the drive into Winthrop, then made short work of my six pack, jumped in the ocean then back to the hotel to sleep.

Saturday morning a handful of us (i should mention that upwards of 20 torontonians went to Boston for this wedding. Holly and Frank are loved.) took the bus/subway into Boston and Cambridge to wander around for the day. We got lunch at Charlie’s Kitchen, where I had a Peak Brewing Organic Pale Ale. This was nothing mind blowing, but refreshing which is what I hoped for, as it was a very humid day. The server, Michelle had her son Jimmy tell us where “young buggers from Canada” might want to hang out. I asked where to find the best Liquor Store in the city. He said Blanchard’s but then gave me directions that I couldn’t possibly understand as I know nothing about the geography of Boston. We looked at records for a bit then decided to go to another pocket of the city that Jimmy recommended.

I found Wild Duck Liquors and bought a bottle of Domaine De Canton Ginger Liqueur for $30. That’s the least expensive I have ever seen it, and while it is available in Canada, i felt like this price was worth my buying it. It will come in handy when I’m working out drinks for Gwai Lo.

A few blocks later I found a store called Bottles that specializes in beer and cider. I grabbed two brews I had never even heard of. One from Clown Shoes brewing and a cider called Zombie Killer, both chosen entirely for the graphics on the labels. I haven’t tasted either of them yet. (there were about 17 cans of PBR in the fridge in our hotel room).

We headed toward the ferry to take us back to Winthrop and stopped at a proper pub called The Times. They had a pretty killer veggie burger and I saw a poster for Shipyard Brewing’s Pumpkinhead Beer. I rarely drink fruit-ish beers, but the picture of The Headless Horseman on the label sold me. This was by far the lightest, most crisp pumpkin beer I have ever tasted. So I got a six pack on the way to the ferry dock.

Saturday night, the bride to be, her maid of honour (honor?)plus my pal Veronica from The Harbord Room and Ursa and I went to Osaka Lucky Garden in Winthrop. I went for two reasons.

1. Scorpion Bowls.

2. At this point the lettuce on the aforementioned veggie burger was the only vegetable I had eaten in two days. We ordered scorpion bowls and I ordered a vegan pad thai. The scorpion bowl was presented as you can see in a tiki looking punch bowl, on fire and with some straws poking out of it. As for ingredients, I tasted passionfruit, mango and orange juices (gotta get vitamins somewhere) some rum and on fire on top was something I liken to sambuca or anisette but it had a softer flavour (flavor) than either of those. The scorpion bowl was pretty tasty, but mostly just looked nice. I drank a whole one to myself (the maid of honour insisted). The pad thai, no joke, was nothing but tofu and noodles. Massachusetts hates vegetables. Saturday gets hazy after that, but there is a video online of myself and 8 friends laughing so hard, for so long that my face and stomach hurt the next day.

Sunday was the wedding day. I wasn’t feeling particularly well, as I had at this point derived most of the nutrients one needs to survive from all the craft beer I had been drinking. I figured I would keep this up, so I went and got myself a 6 pack of Blue Moon Brewing’s pumpkin beer. I had developped a  taste for pumpkin at this point. This pumpkin beer was much more dense tasting and heavier than the Shipyard equivalent, but still pumpkin-y and delicious, in a “I’ll drink one” kind of way.

Then it was time for the wedding. Holly and Frank first met in 2010 when she and a set of girls did a ladies’ weekend out in Boston. Frank and Holly met in line to get into some bar. The girls and Frank and his boys collectively decided to head somewhere more low-key. Shortly after, Holly spent 2 weekends a month flying to and from Boston to go see Frank. Frank (like a lot of us) has issues getting into other countries, so it was up to Holly to fly or drive back and forth. The ceremony was held in front of a cute little hall just down the street from the hotel. During their ceremony a plane or two flew over (Winthrop is very close to Logan Airport). It seemed fitting that planes were a part of their wedding, as they had played such a big part in their relationship.

The hall was decorated as a kind of classy BBQ/Picnic with plastic cutlery and gingham tablecloths. Holly and Frank have one other vegan friend, so her and I split a large order of mixed vegetables from a close by chinese restaurant. I felt like Popeye, only with broccoli instead of spinach. I took it upon myslef, between introductions and speeches and whatnot, to serve the head table beer, wine, and Twisted Tea. it wasn’t my creation, but someone at the wedding at one point realized that a mixture of one part PBR and one part Twisted Tea was delicious. The Twisted Ribbon.

The morning after the wedding was a rough one. Someone slept on my hotel room’s bathroom floor. I woke up starving with nothing to eat but a pack of veggie dogs, unopened since Albany. I ate the whole thing. Then we piled into the van to start the drive back. It was decided that we stop at an IHOP first. I drank coffee. Then on our way out of town, we were stopped at a red light, when I noticed it, like the light of jesus was shining down on it, Blanchard’s Liquor Store. I was in a van with 5 other people three of whom weren’t that interested in booze. So I picked up some J.M. Rhum Blanc, some Rothmann and Winter Apricot Liqueur,  neither of which I have tasted yet, because I gotta get my body straightened out before I drink anything else.

All in all, an educational trip. The north east has great local beers, and the ones that aren’t so great, you just drop some boozey iced tea into.

See you at Wilson 96 tonight.

Also, this is a thing: